Climate Central’s new analysis shows what losses we may incur if we do not start reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Research published in the academic journal Environmental Research Letters shows that coastal towns and villages are seriously threatened by the consequences of climate change. To illustrate how serious the situation is, specialists presented realistic visualizations. Many coastal cities around the world can find themselves partially under water. Among the Polish are Gdynia and Gdańsk.
Researchers at the non-profit organization Climate Central have compared how much water levels in water bodies may rise in the event of a global warming. They found that with an increase in global temperature by 4 degrees Celsius, water will be able to increase by as much as 8.9 meters in 200-2000 years. In this pessimistic scenario, about 50 different cities are likely to disappear from the face of the earth.
For comparison – if the emissions of harmful gases can be reduced and the average temperature rises by 1.5 degrees Celsius, the water level will be “only” 2.9 m higher. Therefore, the sooner measures are taken to prevent the effects of climate change, the greater the chances are. for the survival of many cities.
Frightening images of the future
Experts were aware that research alone may not be enough to open the eyes of some people. That is why they illustrated their analyzes with photos from the Google Earth platform. By combining photographs with the acquired data, they obtained visions of future water levels in more than 200 coastal locations around the world. The collection called “Picturing Our Future” also includes video simulations and photorealistic shots of the water level that may soon surround us.
The research also took into account the situation in Poland. The visualizations show that if the global temperature increase is maintained at the level of 3 degrees Celsius, the water may include, among others, St. Mary’s Basilica, Długa Street in Gdańsk and the city center in Gdynia.
The organization has also created an interactive map that compares potential current and future coastlines to show how much land we could lose depending on how warm the planet is from human damage.
The materials were made available in connection with the upcoming UN climate change conference. The meeting to which world leaders are invited will take place in early November.
Main photo source: Climate Central